Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2020). 41(5), 337–343. SIEC No: 20231508
Background: The therapeutic alliance may be a moderating factor of outcome in the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP). Aims: This study investigates the two components of the therapeutic alliance, patients' satisfaction with the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic outcome and their associations with suicidal ideation over time. Method: A total of 120 patients (55% female; mean age = 36 years) with a history of attempted suicide were randomly allocated to either the intervention group (N = 60) or the control group (N = 60). Patients' satisfaction with the therapeutic relationship and outcome were measured with the two subscales of the Helping Alliance Questionnaire. The Beck Scale of Suicide Ideation was used to measure suicidal ideation in this 24-month follow-up study. Results: The ASSIP group showed that patients' satisfaction with therapeutic relationship and outcome increased significantly from the first to the third session. Higher satisfaction with therapeutic outcome correlated significantly with lower suicidal ideation at follow-up. Conversely, the control group showed no significant results. Limitations: The collaborative approach adopted in the initial clinical interview of the control group could possibly have influenced the results of both scales. Conclusion: In particular, the component satisfaction with therapeutic outcome seems crucial to the subjectively perceived satisfaction of treatment and is associated with lower suicidal ideation over time. Thus, an enhanced understanding of components of the therapeutic alliance plays an important role in the development of interventions for suicidal patients.